When all products are produced there is inevitably a line that is set up from the manufacturer to the purchaser. Even though a retailer may not have manufactured or distributed the product, it can be held liable for any injuries or losses that arise from the use of a defective product. In most cases when a consumer is injured from the use of a product typically the manufacturer is held liable and is responsible for paying the victim personal injury compensation. In this case, the injured consumer may not be required to prove negligence as long as the product has been used in the way the manufacturer has stated.
The role of a retailer
The retailer is responsible for selling a product that is safe to use and will not injure consumers. But many retailers may argue that they do not take any responsibility for designing or manufacturing a product and there is no way they could possibly know in advance that the product had any defects. However, in some cases, retailers may negligently sell products they knew or should have known had defects. For example, if retailers continue to sell any products that the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has issued a recall for they may be negligent because an injury occurred because the product was not removed from shelves.
In a few cases, the CPSC may ask the retailers to inform the consumers who bought a defective product and give them instructions on what they should do and steps that should be taken to either get a repair done, replace the product or give a refund. If the retailers fail to follow the instructions of the CPSC and someone who bought the product was injured they could be accused of negligence and be required to pay personal injury compensation to the victim.
In the end in a product liability lawsuit when you have been injured by a product sold by a retailer there could be several parties who may be deemed negligent including, the manufacturer, distributor and retailer. You are not necessarily required to prove that the defendant was negligent to win a compensation claim. Instead, you should be able to prove that the product had a defect which made it “unreasonably dangerous” and wouldn’t be considered safe to use by the average consumer.
What is a “defective product”?
To win a compensation claim for an injury caused by a defective product you must be able to prove that the product had at least 1 of the following 3 types of defects:
- a defect in design;
- a manufacturing defect;
- a defect when marketing such as an insufficient warning of the possible dangers of the product.
Direct negligence by a retailer
There are a number of ways this can take place such as a retailer continuing to sell a product like a food item well after its sell by date and an unaware buyer suffered from food poisoning after buying and consuming the product.
Compensation for personal injury
If you have suffered a personal injury due to a defective product sold by a retailer there are a number of factors you can include in your claim. These include the following:
- the cost of your medical bills;
- a monetary value on your pain and suffering which often comes out to be several times more than the money awarded for medical expenses;
- punitive damages may be awarded too if the retailer’s deliberate negligence caused your injury.
Wrongful death and compensation
Tragically, defective products kill many people every year. When this happens, the family of the victim who died due to a defective product can file a wrongful death claim against the retailer. The executor or administrator of the victim’s estate may file the wrongful death claim. There are many parts to a wrongful death claim including:
- medical expenses during the victim’s final days;
- funeral & burial expenses;
- loss of earning capacity which could be high if the victim was still young;
- pain and suffering experienced by the victim before death;
- loss of the victim’s ability to enjoy usual daily activities.
Time limitations for a personal injury claim
Tennessee sets a time limitation on filing personal injury and wrongful death claims for damages. This is 12 months from the date the injury took place. If you, or a loved one, have been a victim of a defective product injury, you should contact a dedicated and experienced defective product injury attorney at the Keith Williams Law Group in Nashville. You can contact Keith Williams at (615) 313-3999.